Showing posts from October, 2013

More on the current persecution of Christians

Here's another post on the persecution of Christians from the Catholic Herald, written by a "staff reporter" and originally published on June 3rd this year:
Vatican official says 100,000 Christians are killed each year because of their faith
Bishop Uzoukwu of Minna, Nigeria, at a funeral for victims of a Christmas church bombing (Photo: CNS) More than 100,000 Christians are killed each year because of their faith, and millions more face bigotry, intolerance and marginalisation because of their beliefs, a Vatican official has said. Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s permanent observer to US agencies in Geneva, told the Human Rights Council that “credible research” by Massimo Introvigne, a former representative of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, on combating intolerance and discrimination against Christians, “has reached the shocking conclusion that an estimate of more than 100,000 Christians are violently killed because of some relation to …

National Vocations Conference for Religious

On my way home now after a National Vocations Directors' conference at Birmingham Univ. Chaplaincy. So much joy + optimism + Spirit-filled people looking to help develop a culture of vocation within the church and help young people discover their own specific calling from God. 
Lots of mutual support + encouragement + shared ideas. 
Thanks to Sr. Cathy Jones + (the absent) Fr. Christopher Jamison (on his way to Manilla) and team at the National Office for Vocations.

Blog Action Day 2013 - “Does anybody hear our cry? How many atrocities must we endure before somebody, somewhere, comes to our aid?” #BAD2013

“Does anybody hear our cry? How many atrocities must we endure before somebody, somewhere, comes to our aid?”
The above quote is from a book extract published in the Catholic Herald (UK) just over 10 days ago. The book in question is “The Global War on Christians” by John L Allen Jr. (Image/Random House LLC). Click here for the full extract.
The extract paints a very worrying picture of religious persecution of Christians in the modern world, especially in non-Western nations, that the author calls “the world’s best kept secret”. As he says himself, if you mention such persecution in public you will often be met with responses referring back to Christian-led atrocities of the past:
‘There’s also a reflexive hostility to institutional religion, especially Christianity, in some sectors of secular opinion. People conditioned by such views are inclined to see Christianity as the agent of repression, not its victim. Say “religious persecution,” and the images that come to mind are the Crusade…

The banner for Blog Action Day 2013 - Oct. 16th

Let's speak out together!!

Courtesy of:

Blog Action Day - Oct. 16th: Herman Wallace RIP

I couldn't resist posting the following text 2 days early... I had signed up for Amnesty International's "Blog Action Day" to speak out with thousands of others around the world about injustice in all its forms, but having discovered the below case just today, I felt impelled to write about it straight away.

Having recently rejoined Amnesty International with pupils from our school here in Liverpool (re-starting a group that I had going when I was teaching here before), I was looking on the internet today at the latest Priority Action campaigns on their website when I came upon the case of Herman Wallace, a black inmate of Angola prison, Louisiana, who has been kept in solitary confinement for 40 years for a crime of which he has been shown to be innocent.

A couple of months ago he was diagnosed with advanced liver cancer and the campaign for his release went into overdrive claiming not only his innocence but compassionate grounds for his release. That release was ac…

Vocations in England + Wales. We are getting much right!

The article that the below tweet links to gives a detailed account of how the church in this country is getting a lot right in terms of its vocations ministry and has been doing so for a few years now. 
Yes, Pope Benedict's visit was crucial in setting the tone, but a lot of credit also has to go to the team at the National Office for Vocations under the direction of Fr. Christopher Jamison and Sr. Cathy Jones. 
Heartfelt thanks to both of you!

The Catholic Herald (@catholicherald)11/10/2013 13:16 Mark Greaves: Religious life is dying out in Europe. But it's surging in England and Wales. Here's why
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"About Time"

Last night I went to see for a second time (with a couple of friends) “About Time”, the latest from Richard Curtis ("Love Actually", "Notting Hill", "Four Weddings + A Funeral”...), co-starring the ever-wonderful Bill Nighy (a national institution). It was just as enjoyable the second time and it was lovely to hear and see that my friends were enjoying it as much as I was. It’s coming to the end of its run now, but I thought I’d share something that I wrote in an e-mail to another friend after having seen it for the first time…

It starts out as a fairly conventional, though delightfully acted romantic comedy, but after an hour or so it turns into something far more profound, thought-provoking and moving. It accomplishes this change of tone without sacrificing what made the first hour a success (the strong, funny, touching central relationship between a young couple madly in love and obviously made for each other, played by the wonderfully charmin…